Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 | Last Update : 08:39 AM IST

The Khans can’t be touched: Zoya Akhtar

THE ASIAN AGE. | UMA RAMASUBRAMANIAN
Published : Feb 13, 2019, 1:26 am IST
Updated : Feb 13, 2019, 1:26 am IST

The filmmaker is now all set to rule the box office with her film Gully Boy which releases this Thursday.

Zoya Akhtar
 Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar is a fine storyteller who has been ahead of her times with films Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do. The filmmaker is now all set to rule the box office with her film Gully Boy which releases this Thursday.

Often accused of showcasing the lives of upper-class people on celluloid, Zoya’s Gully Boy tells the story of a struggling rapper and has been shot extensively in the bylanes of Dharavi. While it may appear very challenging, Zoya is full of praises for people residing in Dharavi for allowing the crew to work peacefully.

A pleasantly surprised Zoya says, “I had the best shooting experience in Dharavi. People over there are so cooperative and busy with there work that they don’t have time to be star struck.  We shot for 45 days and it was a respectful experience. People were polite and cooperative. They have seen so many shootings there that they are used to that culture. That was an eye-opening experience.”

Zoya has earlier worked with Ranveer Singh in Dil Dhadakne Do but with Alia, it was her first time and the filmmaker can’t stop gushing about her lead actress.

“She is a delight to work with... She is one actor who has chased me to do my homework. Normally, I have to chase the actors but here it was the other way round. She did her own homework and she was chasing me to do mine. She is possibly the easiest actor I have worked with,” says Zoya.

Interestingly, Zoya, who had kickstarted her career in 2009 with Luck By Chance, has completed 10 years in the industry. Commenting on lessons she has learnt in this decade, she says, “The lesson that I have learnt in these 10 years is that do not ignore your instincts. While making a film, when your gut feels that you are going wrong, please take that seriously. You also have to have a strong crew, so I handpick my crew and I respect them. And even if it’s a two-liner, please pick your actor, don’t get anyone randomly.”

The last year has been dull for the stars, especially the Khans but Zoya believes the start system is here to stay.

“Star system is not going anywhere. Just because 2018 didn’t belong to the stars, it doesn’t mean that the star system will vanish. The Khans can’t be touched and I respect them for their body of work. As far as the theatrical experience is concerned, I will highly be disappointed if that goes away. I have grown up watching films in theatres so that community experience should never go,” says Zoya.

There have also been reports about a sequel to her film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Reacting to the same, she says, “I don’t know. I get this asked a lot and I am dying to work with Hrithik again. The entire team is special, I can’t wait to work with them again but I can’t make a sequel just to capitalize on something. It has to make sense. It has to stand on its own. I want to make a film that is as fulfilling as the first one.”

Tags: zoya akhtar, gully boy